Avinash Kaushik on Storytelling & Web Analytics

avinash kaushikThe opening keynote presentation at SES Hong Kong featured none other than Avinash Kaushik, co-Founder of Market Motive Inc and the Analytics Evangelist for Google.

In this video interview, Avinash talks about the value of communicating analytics information in more meaningful ways. He gives examples of metaphors he’s used to present important analytics information that helps others better understand the meaning and implications of the data. There are lessons here for companies that report tabular data with no insight and little creativity in communicating insight.

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What creative ways have you found to communicate web analytics insights? Have you had nightmare experiences with web analytics reports?

Check out Avinash’s “must-read” web analytics blog, Occam’s Razor, here.

Six Critical Steps to Take Before Starting Your Social Media Monitoring Initiative

social media monitoringNote from Lee: This guest post comes to us from Andy Beal, CEO of social media monitoring tool Trackur and coauthor of Radically Transparent: Monitoring & Managing Reputations Online. Andy and I have known each other for many years and in fact, Andy was the first “famous” SEO blogger I had the opportunity to meet in person. He was gracious, helpful and very smart then and continues those traits today. He literally wrote the book on Online Reputation Management and I appreciate his willingness to share practical insights into the world of social media monitoring.

Social media monitoring. Reputation monitoring. Buzz monitoring. Call it what you want, but it’s all the rage. All the cool kids are doing it! However, friends don’t let friends monitor social media without first teaching them the six critical steps that most companies overlook.

The Business Value of Social Media & SES Hong Kong

ses hong kongNext week I’ll get to experience two firsts:  A visit to Hong Kong for the first time and speaking at an all new Search Engine Strategies conference for Asia. SES Hong Kong includes a great mix of expertise and leadership on all things search and social media. The opening keynote on day 1 features Avinash Kaushik, Author, Blogger, Analytics Evangelist at Google and day 2 will feature Tianfang Feng, Chief Consultant, Search Engine Marketing at Baidu.

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Hong Kong at night – Photo credit: Steve Webel

For my part, I’ll be participating on a panel, “The Business Value of Social Media” with: Scott McBride, Regional Business Director, 360 Digital Influence Asia Pacific, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific and Eden Lau, Co-Founder & Managing Director of North Asia, Brandtology.

10 Resources on Google Instant & What it Means for Search Marketing

Google InstantYesterday Google implemented their new search experience, Google Instant and the SEO and Tech blogs lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s nice to see something get these folks excited for a change. While the notion of instant search isn’t new, Yahoo had it in 2005, Google commands the vast majority of search engine market share so such a major, public change to the Google interface warrants attention.

Essentially, in Google’s quest to improve user experience and increase speed, they’ve already lowered the time it takes to return results on a query.  The actual act of searching and refinement of queries by users is what takes time, so Google Instant is designed to shorten the time it takes for users to find what they’re looking for by showing search results as you type. If you’re logged in to Google, those results are personalized as they have since personalization was implemented.

7 Social Media Lessons from Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid

social mediaNote from Lee: This guest post comes to us from Frank Strong, the director of Public Relations at Vocus & PRWeb.

When The Karate Kid was released in 1984, social media had yet to be conceived.  Even so, we can still learn a great deal from the way a character like Mr. Miyagi simplified what might otherwise be considered complex challenges.   He was a master, a student, a mentor and a friend – all characteristics that might have made Miyagi successful in social media.  To that end, I offer seven Miyagi insights we can apply to social media:

Interview: Mel Carson of Microsoft Advertising on Social Media


Spotlight on Search Interview: Mel Carson of Microsoft Advertising on How Microsoft Does Social Media and the Yahoo Bing Search Alliance

mel carson microsoft advertisingIf you attend Search Marketing industry conferences, you’ve no doubt run into the ever optimistic and charming Mel Carson from Microsoft.  When I was last in London, Mel connected me with an excellent Fish n Chips that the pubs around Trafalgar Square couldn’t get close to.  Mel is active as an advocate of Microsoft Advertising , especially via social media channels and at conferences to the Webmaster and search marketing community. His work is global and very interesting. With the Bing and Yahoo convergence, I thought it was time we did an interview – and he agreed.

Win a Free Pass to MN Blogger Conference

Update: Congratulations!
Rebecca Flansburg has won the free pass to the 1st Minnesota Bloggers Conference for her post:
Mama wants to go MN Blogger Bad

It was close, she won by just 2 votes over Josh Braaten and Patrick Garmoe.
Congratulations again Rebecca and thank you for a clever and compelling post!

Minnesota Blogger Conference

TopRank Online Marketing is proud to be a founding sponsor of the first Minnesota Blogger Conference. Tickets for this event “sold out” within a few hours and there are over 100 people on the waiting list. Thanks to conference founders Melissa Berggren, Arik Hanson, Suzi Magill and Katie Schutrop, it’s already one hot event.

Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google

Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from GoogleAaron Goldman is an accomplished digital marketer that I know through MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit conference. He reached out to me while writing his new book, “Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google”, and asked if I’d like to contribute. Such a request is a great honor to me but unfortunately, I never did end up sending anything to Aaron even though he was incredibly patient and went out of his way to make it easy.

I know what you’re thinking: Smart AND nice guy? Yes indeed, that’s Aaron and now he’s on a blog tour to promote his new book, graciously stopping by Online Marketing Blog with a video recognizing how TopRank Online Marketing “Acts Like Content” (Chapter 7) as well as offering insights from the book on the value of content for marketing. Overall, the book offers 20 lessons “straight from Google’s playbook” that I think you’ll get a lot of value from. Check out the video:

The Real Cost of Buying Links for SEO: $4 Million

stack of moneyI was reading a copy of the Inc. 500 issue on my flight back from Dallas this weekend and came across an article about a seasonal online retailer that was “penalized” right before the Holidays for paid links. He estimated the revenue loss due to plummeting organic search visibility at $4 million in sales.  Now he’s “thanking” Google for the spanking because he’s mended his ways and is reborn as a social media enthusiast.

I’m not sure I buy the “social media has turned things around” story exactly, but I do wonder how many companies and consultants roll the dice and take shortcuts and loopholes to get ahead only to find out later it’s worthless? The notion of paid links is an old story (Paid Links Evil? Dec 2005) but many of the tactics used to shortcut results for SEO will always be a fresh topic of discussion.